Three meals, three games ... one man

November 27, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

One Thanksgiving. Three family dinners. Three football games.

You thought Big Sydney was giddy?

The only thing troubling about today is that I don't think I have a belt big enough to handle it.

Thanksgiving is about family, and I'll be visiting with the regulars (the Kauffman clan, and we're a scary bunch, let me tell you) as well as the newcomers (the Dean clan, creators of my beautiful wife, and thank you very much).

I felt kind of bad for the Deans ... they have no idea what's about to hit them. (Quick piece of advice: Hide the veggie tray. Another quick piece of advice: Hide the cheese tray, too. Heck, you might as well hide the turkey, ham and stuffing while you're at it.)

And what's Thanksgiving without a little football?

Alright, in the big scheme of Thanksgiving, football isn't important. But let's be honest, Thanksgiving without football would feel a little strange. Like The Price is Right without Bob Barker, the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger or Thomas Johnson boys basketball without Tom Dickman. (It does feel strange, doesn't it?)


So here's a look at the gridiron offerings:

  • 1 p.m. - Sinking into my in-laws' sofa with a tall plate of everything (hold the cranberry sauce) for the Green Bay-Detroit game. This is one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL, and with the Lions' descent into ex-Bengals territory, currently one of the dullest. But hey, it's Thanksgiving football.

    The Packer everybody knows is Brett Favre. The Packer everybody seems to forget is Ahman Green. About the time I finish off my second plate and head for dessert, Green will be putting the finishing touches on a 150-yard rushing day.

    As for the Lions, they're not good. To make matters worse, quarterback Joey Harrington - drafted last year early in the first round and hailed the team's franchise quarterback - looks more like Heath Shuler than Peyton Manning.

    How many "franchise quarterbacks" drafted in the first five picks ever really become such?

  • 4 p.m. - By the time I make it around the buffet setup at my grandparents' home (looking longingly at the mashed potatoes for a solid minute or two) and survived one of pap's Notre Dame soliloquies, the Miami-Dallas tilt should be rolling.

    This could actually be one of the better games of the year. The Dolphins just look better with Jay Fiedler under center (maybe it's just how bad they look with Brian Griese there), and the Cowboys under Bill Parcells look ... are these really the Cowboys?!

    Turnovers will likely decide this one. Watch Dallas safety Roy Williams, who was a playmaker at Oklahoma and keeps getting better for the 'Boys.

  • 7:30 p.m. - The forklift carries me on to my father's home for shrimp and Egg Bowl.

(I realize shrimp is not traditional Thanksgiving fare, but really, how can you knock shrimp?)

The Egg Bowl, for those of you who don't follow college football, is the yearly grudge match between Mississippi and Mississippi State. It's not quite Ohio State-Michigan, Auburn-Alabama or Army-Navy, but it's still a good rivalry.

Unfortunately, Mississippi State has been down the last couple of years. But this is longtime coach Jackie Sherrill's final game, so the Bulldogs should be fired up.

On the other side, Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning is one of the best in college and fun to watch.

That is, if I don't pass out first.

Dan Kauffman is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other Thursday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7520, or by e-mail at

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